What does 2 Thessalonians 2:17 mean?
ESV: comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.
NIV: encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
NASB: comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.
CSB: encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good work and word.
NLT: comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.
KJV: Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
NKJV: comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.
Verse Commentary:
Paul continues his benediction and prayer in this verse. He asks the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father to comfort his readers' hearts. They had been confused about the coming day of the Lord, and they were the subjects of intense persecution. Their trials were abundant. All of these situations might have caused alarm, so they needed God's strength to stabilize them. Possessing God's strength and comfort would enable the Thessalonians to live out their faith in words and deeds that honor Him.

Christians have the power to confront trouble with bold confidence in God and to encourage one another by speaking helpful words and performing kind and loving deeds. In Ephesians Paul exhorted his readers to put aside unwholesome speech and employ only words that build up one another (Ephesians 4:29). Also, he urged the Ephesians to walk in love, having Christ as their example (Ephesians 5:2). Deriving our strength and encouragement from God, we can talk and walk in a way that pleases him.
Verse Context:
Second Thessalonians 2:13–17 presents a stark contrast to the preceding passage. Previously, Paul wrote about the evil man of lawlessness, his wicked deeds, and the dreadful consequences that await him and his followers. Now Paul addresses the Thessalonian believers with a positive, uplifting message about their salvation, and he encourages them to take a defensive posture against false teaching and to adhere to what he had taught them. He concludes with an uplifting benediction, in which he calls upon the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father to encourage the Thessalonians and establish them in every good word and deed.
Chapter Summary:
The Christians of Thessalonica have not missed out on the events described in Paul's prior letter. Despite what some teachers apparently thought, they were not experiencing the ''day of the Lord,'' a time of God's great wrath and judgment. As proof, Paul offers instruction on events which had yet to occur, prior to the coming of the day of the Lord. The first is a rebellion, or a ''falling away.'' The second is the emergence of a ''man of lawlessness'' who will demonstrate satanic power. This will correspond with God removing His restraint, in some way, leaving sin freer rein to enable His judgment.
Chapter Context:
Chapter 1 praised the Christians of Thessalonica for their spiritual growth and acts of love. This chapter seeks to correct a discouraging error present in that same church. Paul encourages these believers by stating that they have not missed out on the events described in his prior letter and have not entered into the judgment of the ''day of the Lord.'' Before that catastrophic time can begin, certain events must occur. These include a widespread spiritual apostasy and the rise of a satanically-empowered figure. Chapter 3 commends the value of a strong work ethic, both in a spiritual and a secular sense.
Book Summary:
Second Thessalonians follows Paul's earlier letter to the same group of Christian believers. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul had praised them for their faithfulness and given them reassurances about the day of the Lord. This included teachings on the rapture and a description of death as ''sleep'' from a Christian viewpoint. In this second letter, Paul corrects possible misunderstandings about those ideas. Among his teachings here are the importance of a good work ethic and God's impending judgment on sin, including judgment on those who persecute the Christian church. Paul also provides the Thessalonians with reassurances that they have not somehow missed out on Christ's return.
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